Category Archives: Photos

White Mountain Memorial

Last weekend, as I mentioned in an earlier post, we gathered together with my son and his family, and my sister up in the White Mountains.

When my son was growing up and we were home schooling, we used to take an annual trip up to the White Mountains to a place called Big Lake where we camped for about three days, enjoying the changing of the aspen. My mother always went with us and my sister drove in from New Mexico to join us.

We have all sorts of good memories associated with these trips, and my mother especially enjoyed them, so we decided to have a trip in memorium for her.

Originally we were going to do it last fall, but after the Wallow Fire  blazed through there last summer, we decided to wait a year.

We had never camped in an official campground, but in our “own” special spot off the road to Big Lake. There was a pipe spring there, an old cabin, and a glorious stand of aspen — in addition to expansive views of the open range, which my husband glassed morning and evening for antelope and elk. (Click to enlarge all photos)

It was a place far enough away from the roads we could let our dogs roam free, and they loved it, too. We camped, roasted marshmallows, took hikes, sketched, painted, and took lots of photos. Sometimes in the wee hours of the morning, we even heard the elk bugle as they came out in the fields below us to challenge one another.

Though I had prayed the Lord would spare it, we had no way of knowing if the place was even still standing, for the fires had raged right through that area…

Given my son and his wife had Lily, only a little over a year old and would be coming from California, we opted for staying in a condo in Pinetop and driving out to spend the day at our spot rather than camping as in the past. I think it was the right decision.  We had a wonderful time.

Here are a few more pictures:

View from our cabin in Pinetop. I love the way the aspen leaves flutter to the ground in the wind which you can almost see in this picture.

Lily walking like a pro. She and Quigley became friends and cohorts in making trouble. She opened the drawers and doors and he took full advantage!

En route to our “spot”: the fire had raged through much of the forest, leaving skeletons of burned out trees

Thankfully we found our spot mostly untouched, complete with the cabin my mother, sister and I had sketched many times

The trees nearby were also still standing unharmed, and the aspen were midway through their autumn display

Lily was fascinated by the gold aspen leaves quivering in the wind

We saw this guy at the end of the day as we were driving out. Great finish to a wonderful day.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine

No, he’s not solely mine, he belongs to my hubby as well, but that doesn’t matter. He is still “mine” as far as I’m concerned: a wonderful blessing from God that I enjoy every single day.

We were doing tricks this morning (he rolls himself up in the blue blanket) and when he looked up at me,  I just had to get the camera!

So I told him to stay and went off to get it, and he stayed. Then I told him, again, “head down” and he did it and click. 🙂

Grace and Truth Ministries Conference

Willamette River, Salem, Oregon

Just back from attending the Grace and Truth Ministries 1st Annual Oregon Conference in Salem, Oregon, taught by Pastor Joseph Sugrue of Grace and Truth Ministries and Pastor John Farley of Lighthouse Bible Church in Florida.

Both men were mentored, trained and ordained by Pastor Robert McLaughlin of Grace Bible Church Somerset Mass, and now have their own congregations in Oregon and Florida.

It was an incredible trip and conference, maybe the best ever for me, despite how discombobulated I was.  SOOOO much happened during those 5 days that my introvert brain was — and still is — on overload. At times I felt like pieces of me were flying off in different directions.  I never seemed to know where any of my stuff was. Where was my camera? The rental car keys? My purse?  Where did I put my comb? My Bible? The sunglasses clip for my glasses…?

And last night, when I went looking for the folder where my Important Papers were, like the documentation for the car rental and, more important, the confirmation number for my flight today… I couldn’t find them. Though I looked in the car several times, and in my suitcase several times, and the drawers and under the bed…

Yes. Doing that very thing I just mentioned of going back to a place you know full well you already looked in and found nothing.

Well, it was late… And I was exhausted. And sleep-deprived. And, as I said, overwhelmed with input. I need time to process it all, and so far, it’s been a continuous stream of input.

As it turned out, I didn’t need a single one of those papers. And losing the sunglasses will finally force me to make an appointment with the eye doctor that I’ve put off for almost 2 years now. So, even in that, everything is just fine.

I’ll post more tomorrow when I find my brain…

Graced Out in Our Sleep

He gives to His beloved, even in her sleep…

The following is another of the articles I wrote for one of the editions of the email newsletter I used to send out before I started blogging. This one is a little embarrassing, because the things I, myself, wrote, are the things I, myself, still struggle to recall — and more important believe — way more than I’d like to admit.

♦♦♦

 Graced out in Our Sleep (From 2003 Newsletter)

I love the fact that none of this depends on me, that even though I do the work, it really doesn’t depend on me–not the publication, not the awards, none of it.

That’s been the lesson of the year–that I don’t need to get all frantic about getting everything done because my Lord will see that what needs to be done, is done. That the work I do is done for Him, and He will see to its disposition in accordance with HIS plan–and His timing–not mine.

Yet there seems to be this whole hierarchy of activities that we can get caught up in, thinking that if our work isn’t done in time or isn’t good enough or there isn’t enough of it, or whatever, that the whole thing will fail and happiness will elude us.

But true happiness does not spring from success in the world. Success may be stimulating and fun, but it doesn’t last. Because whatever work you accomplish or goal you achieve or award you win, there’ll always come a time when that gets to be old hat and you’ll need another accomplishment or another award.

And yet, as when we’ve lost our keys and go back to look in the same place over and over again, even though we know the keys aren’t there, in the same way we focus on this accomplishment thing. Thinking that if only we can get this next thing, that will provide the lasting satisfaction we crave.

And so we step onto that treadmill of running and working to achieve, getting up early, staying up late, trying to get ahead, looking for that pleasure or satisfaction or sense of contentment we think will be ours if we can just get “It.” Whatever “It” may be.

But it’s a lie and, as David says in the Psalms, it’s vain. True happiness is stable and eternal. It isn’t an emotion, but a state of mind independent of circumstances and arising out of one’s relationship with God.

Every good gift comes from Him, and true contentment lies in our fellowship with Him, in getting to know Him through His word, and seeing His grace and goodness and faithfulness as they work out in our daily lives. It’s believing Him when he says…

“Except the lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for he gives to His beloved even in his sleep. ~ Psalm 127: 1,2

Me vs the Space-Time Continuum

Today I fertilized the plants. It was only supposed to take a minute…

I woke up at 6:15am. My hubby had gone off to run earlier, and I was mentally ready for him to return, shower and take a short nap on the couch before leaving for work. That meant I would not be able to do my normal sequence of routine, so I planned to get up, make the bed, maybe water, then go into the office and get to work on Sky. Yay!

Recalling that it had rained last night, I was pleased at the notion that I wouldn’t have to water the grass and could get started on writing that much earlier. I’d just take a minute to fertilize the plants front and back. It’s better to fertilize early when it’s cool, after all, and it’s only 8 plants in pots. No big deal.

Except, I have this problem with the space/time continuum. Despite my many years on the planet, during which the space/time continuum has never changed, I nevertheless assume this time that it will. It’s not a conscious assumption, mind you. It’s just that I continually think as if a minute can be both a real minute, sixty seconds, and yet elastic enough to accommodate tasks that easily take half an hour or even an hour, and still remain a minute.

Filling the gallon jug, measuring the fertilizer, going from the kitchen to the back yard to dispense the fertilizer, returning to the kitchen to repeat the process – several times – how could I ever think it would “only take a minute?”

Denial. It must be denial. I want to get started right away on writing. I want to get the fertilizing done early, so I guess I just compress the two in my mind as if in so doing I can make it so. But I can’t and it takes “waaay longer” than I expected and then I’m disappointed…

When really, all that’s happened is that once again, I’ve discovered I’m not God. (And a good thing or the Universe would have long ago spiraled out of control.)

Unlike God, I am bound to the space/time continuum and no amount of hoping or assuming or thinking is going to change that.

But I have to wonder… does anyone else do this? Or am I the only one?

————————————————————————-

This post is in response to a WordPress Writing Challenge on the topic From Mundane to Meaningful. To learn more about the challenge and see some other entries, click here.

She’s Walkin’

Well, I didn’t get my photos downloaded and ready as soon as I expected. Yesterday I spent putting stuff away, washing clothes, talking to friends and lying around, zonked. I did get the pics transferred from camera to computer but that was about as far as it got.

So I’m a day later than I’d planned, but better late than never. Here are some highlights from our summer trip to San Diego to visit little Miss Lily.

And her parents of course!

First day: Lily’s Ice-chest assisted walking

Our Next House! On Coronado Island, right near the dog beach!
Hahahaha!! We wish.

Who’s at the door?

It’s DADDY!!!

 

Fun at the Beach. (Note Quigley is expressing his opinion, too. He loved the beach.)

Last day — Sheee’s Walkin’! Look out now, parents.

Traveling Again

I’ve been away from my office and desk and well, Arizona altogether for the last week. It’s been something of a milestone in that for the first time I also managed to put up some blog posts, even though I was away from my computer. (I’m from the Jurassic age and do not have a cell phone, let alone an ipad.)

Anyway, much thanks to my son and daughter-in-law for allowing me to post from their computer.

I haven’t yet uploaded the many pics I took while away, but will do so tomorrow and then figure out which I want to post. There are sooo many good ones to choose from.

Lily is walking now. Only three steps at a time, but all on her own. If she has someone to hold her hands she’ll walk all the way across the living room, dining room, into the kitchen and back again. Two little teeth showing. Big blue eyes. Bright, happy smile. Wrinkly nose… Cuter than ever.

DS and DDIL (that’s Flylady lingo for “Dear Son” and “Dear Daughter-in-Law”) were in the midst of moving from their previous location to a new larger place two lots up the street. Hubby and I (and Quigley) stayed in the older, smaller house and we all spent a lot of time walking back and forth (partly because the washer and dryer were still in the smaller house and they have lots of diapers to wash… plus that’s where the computer was! ) Hubby left on Monday, and I stayed an additional three days, then flew back this afternoon.

So, as I said. I’m tired. This pic from last winter expresses it perfectly:

Little Books

One thing I’ve always liked doing is making little books. I cut  sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper in half width-wise, to make pieces of 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches, fold them in half and either staple them down the side or down the middle and then glue a same sized or slightly larger piece of heavier cardstock around the outside. You can also hand sew the pages down the middle, including cover for a more “book like” effect. (You need an awl for that, though.)

This gives me little books into which I can transcribe notes from Bible class,  favorite verses, quotes I find in books that I like, things that inspire or remind me of where I need to keep my head. They are small, so they fit in my purse and I can take them everywhere.

Here’s a picture of some of them.

And here’s what the inside looks like (I like to use different colored inks to differentiate between entries):

You can see the above book has been well-used.  A couple of the entries on these pages are:

“If you were using the ten problem solving devices (“10 PSD”)* you’d never be in panic palace, you’d never fall apart, feel ‘stressed,’ uptight, never spend one second worrying about anything. You’d have the most fantastic tranquility in the world.

“God has provided perfect happiness through a place of rest, a place which does not depend upon any human factor in life. This is a complete dependence upon the One who is the source of joy and strength.”

and

If something is not important to you, you forget it. It flies right out of your mind. Another person’s sins belong in this category. Their failures, negative volition, sins, obtuseness, etc, are not your concern. If you are remembering them, you are making an issue of them and you’re out of line. No criticizing! Sins and failures are to be forgotten. Apply Bible Doctrine (“BD”) to yourself, not Charlie Brown!”

If you want to read the entries better, you can click on the picture for a slightly larger version.

*Those of you who were under Col Thieme’s ministry for any length of time no doubt recognized the voice there right away!  🙂 Yes, all three of these are notes I took from his messages. For those of you who were not Thieme’s students…

The “ten problem solving devices” are: rebound (1 Jn 1:9), the filling of the Holy Spirit, faith rest, grace orientation, doctrinal orientation, personal sense of destiny, impersonal, unconditional love for people, personal love for God, sharing the Happiness of God, and occupation with Jesus Christ.

“Bible Doctrine” simply refers to the teachings of the Word of God. I suppose he could have said “Apply the Word of God to yourself…” but I believe he was trying to differentiate between what you get from merely sitting down and reading the Word, as opposed to really studying it. So many (especially at the time he was teaching) seem to think that studying the Word means just reading it every day, when actual studying is much more rigorous than that. But that, too, is a post for another day!